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Thursday, 26 March 2015

Using the Latigos part 3 - Francisco Ortega

Stats

Df Wp Wd Wk Cg Ht
5 6 8 5 7 2

Francisco's generous 5SS cache makes him a viable leader up to the 40SS mark, though doesn't make up for the lack of extra activation a master gets. He's one of the only Family members that can handle themselves in melee and has various ways of making sure he can get there. A cost of 8SS means he's not cheap and while he can do a lot of damage he's not a glass cannon and can take care of himself in a variety of ways.

Abilities

Again, like most Family members, Francisco has the COMPANION ability, allowing you to 'chain' activations for this model, if another model finishes its activation within 6". The same decisions for using the ability apply, in terms of activating later in a turn and not always using it but Francisco makes things trickier in that his EL MAYOR ability is best used early to protect more vulnerable models.

Speaking of EL MAYOR; this ability triggers at the start of Francisco's activation and lets him give a friendly model within 2" +2 Wp and +2 Df until the start of his next activation (or he dies horribly). Using this ability on someone like Perdita means that you have a nigh un-woundable model on the table for a turn, however this is not conducive to Perdita's preference to lead from the rear. Mostly this will be used for support when bringing up a weaker model for protection (such as a Pistolero), however in games where protecting the master is key it can be critical to keep Francisco back and use this ability to boost Perdita's stats.

Attack Actions

Francisco has 1 standard Sh action and 1 Rg action. Both are quite strong but not game ending in a single stroke, so it's important that Francisco be kept alive for a couple of turns once he gets to wherever he is going.

DUELING SWORD is a Ml 7, 2" attack action with a 2/3/5 damage spread, except it has a built in Ram trigger to give +1 damage, making it a 3/4/6 spread, or even a 4/5/7 spread if you flip a natural Ram! Two severe strikes should be enough to end almost any model. Making sure you get at least 2 strikes is the tricky part though.

His other action is MODIFIED PEACEBRINGER, a Sh 6, Rg 12" shot with a 2/3/4 damage spread and the same Ram trigger for extra damage. This is a fairly decent ranged attack but is mostly just used while getting in to position for a charge or tactical action.

Tactical Actions

This is where Francisco starts to get nasty. FLURRY is a 2AP action which lets you discard a card for 3 Ml attacks. As mentioned above, these attacks can cause quite a spread of damage, with 9 being the minimum if they all hit.

ENFR√ČNTATE A MI! is a 1 AP action that lets Francisco call out another model to a mano-a-mano duel. It lets you move Francisco in to base contact with another model within 7", then push all friendly models engaged up to 5" away. This is fantastic action and can be even better with some upgrades. Firstly it gets Francisco in to Ml combat ignoring all terrain as long as he can see them. Secondly it gets any vulnerable models out of an engagement and coupled with COMPANION would probably let them shoot if Francisco fails to finish them off (more on that in a minute). Additionally as it is a 1 AP action Perdita can use OBEY to perform it, freeing up Francisco to perform FLURRY! Lastly it can move you between targets without a disengaging strike, often allowing you to move quickly to the other side of the map.

His final action is FINESSE which is a 0 AP action allowing Francisco to discard a card to give models negative flips for Ml. This is important if Francisco is likely to be getting hit back as he is fairly vulnerable to the types of models he is going to be hitting.

Upgrades

Francisco has an exclusive upgrade that is almost mandatory; WADE IN is a 1SS upgrade that gives him HARD TO KILL (While this model has 2 or more Wd remaining when it suffers damage, it may only be reduced to 1 Wd by a single damage source). HARD TO KILL is phenomonal as if you can stay alive an extra turn you can use the other ability of this upgrade, 0 AP, JUST A FLESH WOUND; a healing Ca action that can heal 1/2/3 damage, which puts Francisco back in to HARD TO KILL range.

Other upgrades that are worth looking at are the expensive DIESTRO, a 3SS upgrade with GEOMETRIC that gives models engaged with this model negative flips to Df duels against Sh action. "Won't that mean you have to flip for Francisco?" I hear you ask, well that's the other half of it CIRCULAR; models do not flip a card for this model when determining a random target while shooting in to an engagement. If this was 2SS I'd take it almost every time, it is so good and an ability you'll wish all your models have. It practically guarantees a hit with other models in your crew and Francisco is all going all Matrix-style in the middle of it dodging bullets.

HERMANOS DE ARMAS 1SS is handy for movement based schemes, it gives a 0 AP COVER ME which can drag other models along with you by targeting a friendly model within 5" and push them in to base contact with this model. While we'll cover the Nephilim and Nino later their abilities, their, this and Perdita's OBEY means that the Latigo Posse is one of the most surprisingly mobile crews if played well.

TORMENTA DE PLOMO is the last upgrade to really consider and should only be used if you are likely to be swarmed by lots of low value models. It has a 2 AP action LEADSTORM and is a TN 14 Sh action with a 6" pulse that causes a Df 14 duel against all models or they suffer 4 damage.

Summary

Get in close or go grabbing schemes - Strong Ml damage spread and a bunch of abilities to let you finish people off, either yourself or other crew members
Rams for damage - Same goes for most of the Latigos but Rams can give you that extra damage you need to finish a model off.
Activate early - EL MAYOR grants some strong protection to other models; can let Pistoleros survive to the end of turn to get their bonuses (a mutually benefical one if close enough)

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